Rucker: Tennessee baseball potentially on cusp of seismic shift

#1

kamoshika

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#1
The trajectory of the program is easy to spot, though, and fans are noticing. Lindsey Nelson was as full as COVID-19 protocol would allow for the LSU series.

Vitello is even hinting at the possibility of expanding Lindsey Nelson in the near future — something the program has needed for a long time. SEC baseball is an arms race with palatial parks, and you could comfortably argue that only Missouri has a more humble stadium than Tennessee’s. It’s a classic chicken-or-egg predicament. A better stadium inarguably would help the program with recruiting and local interest, but winning on a more consistent basis inarguably would help generate funds and demand for a better stadium. Tennessee’s tragicomedy of football the past dozen years has complicated things financially, making it tougher for the program to dump capital into things like a baseball stadium.

Tennessee hasn’t sat back and done nothing. As Vitello noted, the program has built a baseball facility to upgrade the staff’s offices, and it’s added a few bells and whistles to Lindsey Nelson to the benefit of both players and fans. The new artificial playing surface flies in the face of baseball tradition but has helped the program in many ways. It’s significantly easier to play games in inclement weather, and it’s easier for the program to use the field year-round for games, practices, camps and clinics without worrying about wrecking it.

At some point, though, Tennessee will have to go or get off the pot when it comes to creating a baseball environment that feels more like the rest of the SEC. The differences in some cases are absolutely staggering, and Vitello knows that as well as anyone. Vitello is well on his way to becoming a huge commodity in the coaching market and having a tremendous amount of leverage.

There’s never been a really good reason for Tennessee to have anything less than a really good baseball program. The SEC is brutal, but there’s plenty of talent in this state and this part of this state, and this is an area with a metro population of approximately one million people. If people in SEC West Land can fill a big ballpark, why not Knoxville? All of the pieces are there. People in this community are desperate for a winner, and the Tennessee men’s basketball team just spent two months delivering another painful punch to the gut. COVID protocol remains a hurdle, but the guess on this end is that the Vols remaining nationally relevant in baseball at this exact moment could represent a seismic shift in the program’s future.

Rucker: Tennessee baseball potentially on cusp of seismic shift
 
#2

orangemadam

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#2
I am a big baseball fan, but never paid much attention to the Vols bb.

I wish there were more games on TV, SECN and ESPN. I would love to watch more Vol bb.

Hopefully with continued success, more games will be made available to a greater number of fans such as me.

Thanks Vols baseball for giving me a winning program to broaden my love for all things UT!!

GBO!
 
#3

txbo

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#3
I am a big baseball fan, but never paid much attention to the Vols bb.

I wish there were more games on TV, SECN and ESPN. I would love to watch more Vol bb.

Hopefully with continued success, more games will be made available to a greater number of fans such as me.

Thanks Vols baseball for giving me a winning program to broaden my love for all things UT!!

GBO!
If you have ESPN and SEC Network, many of the games are streamed on the ESPN app.
 
#4

Halph66

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#4
I am a big baseball fan, but never paid much attention to the Vols bb.

I wish there were more games on TV, SECN and ESPN. I would love to watch more Vol bb.

Hopefully with continued success, more games will be made available to a greater number of fans such as me.

Thanks Vols baseball for giving me a winning program to broaden my love for all things UT!!

GBO!
Every game has been viewable via the internet at a minimum. SEC Network + has aired most of the games.
 
#9

txbo

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#9
To each his own I reckon. Now if we could get Wilkerson on the ESPN crew with Ensor...that would be awesome! I do kinda miss the radio broadcasts. I watched a couple west coast productions yesterday, brutal.
The crew for the UGA series was painful.
 
#13

feathersax

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#13
I have even enjoyed watching the Live Stats feed for 9+ innings! That’s more appealing than most of the stuff you find on TV nowadays. GBOBB!
LiveStats is my "go-to" for Vol baseball. I like to blend it with the response on VN, too. :cool: Of course, when they're on t.v. I'm watching.
 

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